More immunizations and changes to health exams could be required for school

Local News

The list of required immunizations for school-aged children may be getting a little bit longer. The Department of Health said they haven’t revised the examination requirements and vaccination list since 2001.

“We’re really trying to make sure that all of those rules itself that were not update and not currently utilized as far as medical practices those are in alignment with current medical standards,” said Ronald Balajadia, the Department of Health Immunization Branch Chief. 

I’m told the updated shot list shouldn’t be a surprise.  

Hawaii law already requires all students to get their MMR, polio, Hepatitis B shots, among others. 
The proposal would require additional vaccines for school-aged children including HPV and Hepatitis A.

“It’s basically the same vaccinations that you are currently getting in your pediatric offices by your doctors,” explained Balajadia.

Schools may allow children to attend school while the parents are in the process of updating their immunizations and other requirements but if there will be consequences if the rules are not followed.

“If the child is not up to date, then the child will be excluded from school if they do not adhere to those requirements,” said Balajadia.

The rules will not change regarding those opposed to vaccinating their children.

“The religious exemptions are still in existence so families that already have utilized that process definitely are able to do that,” Balajadia explained.

The DOH will be conducting public hearings on the neighbor islands and accepting written testimony regarding the proposal. 

Scheduled hearings are open to the public and will be held at the following dates, times and locations:

Island:   Maui (live), Molokai (video conferencing from Maui)

Date:   Friday, Dec. 14, 2018

Time:   2 – 4 p.m.

Place: Maui (live) – Wailuku State Office Building, 54 South High Street, Wailuku, Maui

Video Conference Center, Third Floor

Molokai (video) – Department of Health, 65 Makaena Place, Kaunakakai, Molokai

Room 107, Video Conference Room

Island:   Lāna‘i (live)

Date:   Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

Time:   1 – 3 p.m.

Place:  Lāna‘i Public and School Library, 555 Fraser Avenue, Lāna‘i City

Small Conference Room

Island:   Hawai‘i Island (live) – Hilo (AM) & Kona (PM)

Date:   Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

Time:   Hilo – 9 – 11 a.m.

Kona – 2:30 p.m – 4:30 p.m.

Place: Hilo – Hilo State Office Building, 75 Aupuni Street, Hilo

Conference Rooms A, B, & C

Kona – 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy, Kailua-Kona

West Hawaii Civic Center Meeting Hale, Building G

Island:   Kaua‘i (live)

Date:   Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

Time:   2 – 4 p.m.

Place:  Kaua‘i District Health Office Conference Room, 3040 Umi Street, Līhu‘e

Additional information about the proposed changes can be found here.

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